By Soma Das for Hindustan Times
The stencil art of Sanjhi has its roots in Indian folk culture and is associated with Vaishnav temple traditions.
As an eight-year-old, paper artist Jaishree Pankaj Shah would watch intently as her grandfather made hand-cut paper designs or stencils to decorate the swing of Lord Srinathji. That was her first lesson in the Sanjhi paper craft.
Sanjhi is an art form rooted in the folk culture of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, and later became an integral part of Vaishnavite traditions. It was patronised as a refined art form in the 15th and 16th century, and was practised by priests in Vaishnav temples.
“During the Bhadrapad (monsoon) season, the temple floor would often be decorated with banana leaves cut into various shapes and sizes. The art later evolved into paper stencils with floral and geometric designs,” says Shah. “Sanjhi artworks were used to decorate temples, nat-mandirs and kirtan sabhas during Vaishnav festivals such as Holi, Janmashtami and Jhulan.”
At an exhibition at Artisans’ in Kala Ghoda, Shah is showcasing 45 Sanjhi panels (some are three dimensional and as tall as 20 sq ft) depicting the Raas Leela, and inspired by the architecture of the Vaishnavite havelis and jharokhas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The traditional art form was quite daunting as the paper cuttings were made directly without sketching or tracing.
To make a Sanjhi, Shah sketches a rough outline of the motif and then fills in the details while making cuts. She then glues the parts together on a coloured sheet of paper or silk before framing the work. “Each work is intricate, and it takes between a week to two months to make a panel,” she says. The traditional art form was quite daunting as the paper cuttings were made directly without sketching or tracing.
The art form of Sanjhi still manifests itself in places where Vaishnav culture flourished. “At Mathura, Vrindavan, West Bengal and Odisha — which are home to Vaishnav communities and Radha Krishna lore in visual and performing arts — you can find this art form reflected in various traditions that work with silhouette and stencil forms,” says Shah.
By Tori Linville for Gifts and Dec
A journal is one of the most personal items someone can own, and the trend of bullet journals skyrocketed in the past year, driving sales of traditional stationery supplies like writing instruments and notebooks, according to The NPD Group.
The bullet journal was deemed “the analogue system for the digital age” by creator Ryder Carroll, and has seen more than 2-million Instagram posts relating to the trend.
Last year alone, consumers spend almost $210-million on unruled spiral, composition, graphing and other kinds of notebooks – 18% more than the year before.
Writing instruments that are often seen being used for bullet journals saw growth in sales as well: colour markers saw a 17% increase, paint markers had a 9% increase, permanent markers saw a 6% increase, gel pens increased by 6% and porous pens increased by 5%.
“Today’s continuously evolving digital transition makes for challenging times in the office supplies industry, but there’s still plenty of opportunity for traditional products to spark interest and maintain relevance,” says Tia Frapolli, president of The NPD Group’s Office Supplies practice.
“As bullet journalling and its close relative hand lettering are the most recent trends to emerge, it’s clear that notebooks and writing instruments remain important to consumers’ lives in terms of creativity, self-expression, and productivity.”
Source: SA Good News
If you have, or are considering engaging in an expensive hobby such as Mountain Biking, flying model aeroplanes, collecting coins or artwork, being aware of the risks you carry and having adequate cover in place is essential to avoid financial loss.
Elizabeth Mountjoy, Private Wealth Manager at FNB Insurance Brokers says the first thing you need to understand is the niche types of cover required for your specific hobby and identifying an underwriter who specialises in covering such risks.
This is to ascertain that the insured asset can be covered for its full replacement value, as soon as it is taken out of your home.
Mountjoy says correctly insuring expensive hobbies can prove to be quite complex, leaving room for error if you try and manage it yourself. Therefore, it is essential to consult an experienced broker who can help ensure that you have covered all possible risks.
For example, there is a lot that you can overlook when trying to insure an expensive MTB bicycle valued at R250 000.
She says for expensive assets of this nature, there are a number of considerations that should be taken into account, such as travel insurance as well as tools or replacement parts to restore and rebuild the bicycle should it be partially damaged.
“As a result, a broker can assist you in correctly valuing the asset to ensure that you are fully covered in the event of a peril,” says Mountjoy.
“Although art purchases, for instance, would have an invoice to indicate the value, it can be difficult for an individual to determine a replacement value for an item they have painstakingly built up for months,” she adds.
A further consideration which can easily be overlooked when insuring a hobby is to get liability cover. The easiest way of doing this is by joining an association or club which could potentially offer this cover at discounted premiums.
For instance, when flying model aeroplanes you need to have personal liability cover to protect yourself in the event that damage or injury is caused to a third party property or individual.
“Lastly, if you have a hobby that requires you to provide advice or you are trading or swapping in items of a particular hobby; it is wise to contact your broker and find out what liability cover they can provide you,” concludes Mountjoy.
By Neil Shaw for DevonLive
Trainspotting, quilting and astrology are among the hobbies which are dying out, a study has found.
Researchers found working longer hours, having less disposable income and social media distractions mean fewer of us are able to take time out and enjoy traditional pastimes.
Stamp collecting, embroidery and building models also featured as interests which Brits aren’t so interested in any more.
The study found playing sports, travelling and gardening featured among the more popular hobbies.
The study also found three quarters agreed hobbies bring them and their partner closer together with half using it as something to talk about.
One quarter enjoy gardening and pruning the bushes with their loved ones, with one in 10 couples hiking and four in 10 going for nice walks together.
In fact, one in 10 are keen to take up a new interest with their significant other but worried it might be a bit on the unusual side. Nearly one quarter were willing to take up wife carrying and husband dragging as a hobby.
In a bid to offset boredom, one quarter would like to try pie eating as a hobby, with 9% willing to have a go at bog snorkelling and 6% keen to attempt extreme ironing.
Of other absurd activities, one in 10 would participate in egg tossing, with as many Brits willing to try gurning and 16% would give marbles a go.
One fifth of those polled get involved in different leisure pursuits to keep their mind sharp.
Eighteen per cent use their interests as a chance for a bit of “me-time”, with one in 20 treating it as a chance to make friends.
Despite a nation with keen interests, of the one quarter with no hobbies half of them wish they had an interest to call their own.
But a lack of time, interest and companions to kick-start it with means they aren’t spending any free time they have in a way they would like.
Nearly half of Brits reckoned they have less time now than they used to for leisurely activities and nearly a third agreed hobbies are becoming less commonplace.
However, the poll of 2 000 adults revealed some of the more unusual hobbies circulating the nation including candle making, origami and even collecting Aston Villa football programmes.
One Brit even invests their time in a spot of scripophily – the study and collection of stock and bond certificates.
The 20 least common hobbies:
5. Home brewing
10. Toy collecting
11. Model building
14. Stamp collecting
16. Coin collecting
Source: Crafting News
At the end of a long day, all I can think about is to unwind in front of my fireplace with a good book and a tall glass of wine. And the mood is always set with a beautifully scented candle that fills the room with the aroma of relaxation and home.
So I thought it was pretty cool when I came across this DIY coffee candle. One thing I also like is the smell of coffee in the morning. It usually wakes me right up, and I can feel all my senses come alive. How cool is it that you can make coffee scented candles? I know some of you could use this in your everyday life. I had to try it out for myself, and the results were beautifully scented, to say the least.
A word of caution
Before I made my candle I had read that there is a chance of coffee beans burning if they are too close to the candle flame. I ended up placing the coffee beans around the outside of the candle so that they are not near the wick, and so far have not had any issues. And if you don’t want to take that risk, you can replace the coffee beans with another scent such as lavender or vanilla.
What you will need:
- Small bowls or glasses. Collect a few colorful containers you have around the house
- Candle wax
- Candle wick
- Coffee beans
- Vanilla beans, chopped
Making the DIY coffee candle
The procedure and the tutorial for making the candles is pretty straight forward. It is actually pretty easy and no skill is required, just the skill to have fun.
The basic procedure is to melt the candle wax. Then you hold the wick in the center of the container you want to use. After that you just pour in the candle wax along with the coffee and the vanilla while stirring with a chopstick to evenly distribute the ingredients. Or put the coffee beans in last to keep them away from the wick.
You have to give the candle a few minutes to dry up before sniping of the wick and voila you have your candle. The end result is a beautifully scented candle that will melt away your stresses.
For the full tutorial, click here.
Artist Yulia Brodskaya is a highly regarded paper artist and illustrator who uses two simple materials – paper and glue – and a technique that involves the placement of carefully cut and bent strips of paper to make lush, vibrant, three-dimensional paper artworks.
Brodskaya started working as a graphic designer and illustrator in 2006; however, she quickly abandoned the computer programs in favour of paper art.
“Paper always held a special fascination for me. I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it, until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it.”
Soon after discovering her passion and unique style, Brodskaya earned an international reputation for her innovative paper illustrations. Her modern take on the paper craft practice has helped her build an impressive list of clients in just a few short years. She is frequently invited to speak at design conferences and design schools around the world. Her original paper artworks are owned by Oprah Winfrey, Ferrero, Hermés, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Paramount Pictures, Country Music Association, Wimbledon, Mr Issey Miyake and numerous other private collectors.
Source: Art Yulia
Say goodbye to unnecessary cords and create more space to work on your projects with the ultimate DIY machine from Cricut. The machine is hailed as all you need for craft hobbies like scrapbooking. The machine retails at approximately $300 (R3 800).
There are so many ways you can create with Cricut Explore Air. Design with the 50 000 images, projects, and fonts in the Cricut Image Library, or upload your own images and fonts for free.
Make party invitations, decorations and favours. Create seasonal home décor or personalise wedding gifts. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories.
Cut what you want
Upload and cut your own images and fonts free; works with .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, and .dxf files
Cut or write fonts already installed on your computer
Buy images starting at $0.99
Design and cut with the iPad app
Design here, there, and everywhere! Cricut Design Space app for iPad works seamlessly with the Cricut Explore Air machine. Design on your iPad and send the project to cut, wirelessly. The free, easy-to-use Cricut Design Space software system gives you access to all of your images and projects from any compatible computer or iPad. It’s cloud-based, so your projects are always synced across all your devices.
What can I make?
Make all your birthday and party invitations, banners, decorations, and favors. Create distinctive seasonal home décor or personalise DIY wedding gifts with a quick monogram for that perfect touch. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories. And give Family Game Night the ultimate make-over with fresh and fun games month after month. Don’t forget those last-minute school science fair projects, book reports, or the ‘All About Me’ poster. Satisfy all your DIY crafting needs, whether you use the Cricut Explore Air as a vinyl cutter, die cut machine, or fabric cutting machine.
What can I cut?
The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric for DIY projects. Upload your own images or choose from the Cricut Image Library – the only limit is your imagination.
No settings required
Forget the complicated materials settings. Now you can get the perfect cut on nearly any material, just turn the Smart Set dial. You can even create custom settings for different materials.
Clean cuts, big or small
The Cricut Explore Air features patent-pending Cut Smart technology. Cut all sorts of shapes with exceptional precision in sizes ranging from ¼ to 11½ inch wide x 23½ inches tall.
Cut and write in just one step
The Cricut Explore Air machine can cut a card and then write a personalised message exactly where you want. It can also cut a box and score the fold lines in one step.